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ARE YOU READY TO HIRE A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT?

Are you ready to hire your first long-term virtual assistant? HOW do you know? WHEN will you know?


If you don't market your job opportunity correctly, you could have hundreds - even thousands - of applications!


Talk about a nightmare!! How could you possibly choose just one?


Let me help you!


STEP 1: TIME STUDY


Start off with doing a one-week time study to see where your time is really going. You may be surprised!


Use an online tool like Toggl or Clockify and track all of your working hours for an entire week. At the end of the week, you should be able to answer the following questions:


  • Where is my time going?

  • What am I doing that I shouldn't be doing? (Facebook anyone?)

  • What tasks could I outsource to a virtual assistant?


Make a list of the above answers along with anything else you may want a VA to do. This is a great starting point for finding out what tasks you'll be able to outsource, some areas that may need more focus on, and things that you should stop doing.


STEP 2: BUDGET


Have a solid idea of how much you can actually afford to pay a VA on an ongoing basis.


VA's can vary greatly with their pricing. Somebody working overseas may charge $5 per hour. A new VA may charge around $20-$30 per hour, and a seasoned or specialized VA may charge $50-$80 per hour.


Keep in mind the level of expertise, skill set, and the VA's location when setting out a hiring budget.


Also keep in mind some VA's require payment up front, or at least 50% up front. Like you, VA's are running their own business and have to look out for themselves as well. How would you like to work for 2, sometimes even 4, weeks and not know if you're going to be paid in the end? Don't take it personally! They're just covering all their bases too!


STEP 3: START LOOKING!


Start with referrals - If you know of other business owners that have a really great VA, this would be a great place to start! Their VA may even have time to take you on as a client. If not, maybe their VA knows someone who can!

Ask your friends - They may not have their own business, but that doesn't mean they don't know a VA. It's all about networking!


Job sites - Try sites like Upwork or Fiverr. You can post an ad tailored to your exact needs. You can find temporary or long-term VA's this way with a varying degree of skills, experience, and costs. Keep in mind, you may receive dozens of applications if you choose this method.


Social Media - Be careful when positing a VA position on your social media accounts. You may be flooded with hundreds or thousands of applications. If you choose to advertise over Facebook or LinkedIn, be very descriptive in your ad. Make sure you outline the exact requirements you are looking for in your VA, to (hopefully) filter out most inadequate applications from the get go.


Recruitment Agencies - If you don't have time to spend looking for a great VA (probably the number one reason you NEED a VA in the first place), then look at hiring a recruitment company. Companies like Randstad, Robert Half, or Hays can do the leg work for you!

STEP 4: MATCH


After advertising for the VA position, you may feel a little overwhelmed by all the emails and proposals you receive. Don't worry! You should be able to find a handful of stand out applications in just a few minutes.


Keep in mind, someone might not have the exact experience you're looking for, or know all the software systems you listed in your ad, BUT if they go above and beyond for just the application, interview them!


Look for someone who includes specific details about your company or even a video. Have you ever received a generic cover letter? BORING! An applicant who puts in the extra effort when applying to your job opening will likely go above and beyond on a daily basis for you and your company.


If someone possesses this above and beyond attitude, pays attention to detail, and has a willingness to learn, you can probably teach them the software programs that you use.


STEP 5: THE INTERVIEW

Try narrowing it down to 3-4 people and interview all of them.


You may find the perfect VA by the first or second interview, but it couldn't hurt to interview a few more just to be sure!


STEP 6: TRIAL PROJECT


Now, this step is optional, but highly recommended!


If you're going to be hiring a VA on a long-term basis, you should probably find out if you're going to work well together!


Start off with a test project. Maybe they can create a flyer for you or organize your inbox.


Have them time it as well. This will give you a general idea of how they work and how much you would be paying for them on an ongoing basis.


Pro tip: Use a task that you completed during your time study and compare how long it takes your potential VA to do the same task.


Don't forget to pay them for their time! You want someone to feel valued and getting them to do a project for free isn't always the best way to show them that. (I have personally been dragged along for over a month to not to be hired in the end - how frustrating!)


If you're still not sure, try signing a month long trial contract instead of a much longer one. By the end of the 30 days, you should be able to confidently say whether or not you want to hire them long term.


STEP 7: COMMUNICATION


This is an ongoing process.


You can't read minds so why would you expect your VA to - at least not yet!


Having a weekly or biweekly meeting would help foster a good working relationship between you and your new VA. Whether it's over the phone or by video call, good communication goes a long way.


Spend 10 or 15 minutes per week to touch base and let your VA know what tasks you'd like done for the week or month - especially if you hired them for a broad spectrum of tasks (rather than specific projects).


Don't forget to communicate your expectations and any deadlines that need to be met. You may not be the only client they have. Also keep in mind that some VA's have a rush fee for last-minute tasks.


Now, who's ready to hire their first VA?!


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